December 2020 Newsletter

Highlights from First Nations, Gratitude for You

Dear Friends,
The holidays are here and so is a new look for our Indian Giver enewsletter. These are busy times at First Nations, with new grant opportunities, emerging programs and projects, and ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. And throughout it all, we give a heartfelt thanks to each one of you. We are honored to have you among our partners and supporters. As this year comes to an end, I’m happy to share highlights of our work that you have made possible, and that demonstrate the ongoing commitment we all share in meeting the challenges of Indian Country, honoring Indigenous knowledge, and always, always, putting Indigenous communities first.

What’s in a Name? The Answer: Decades of Work and Relationships

It’s a whole new ballgame for sports teams across the country. Recently, the NFL’s Washington Football Team announced they were going to change their name and logo – a change that would come after years of Native leaders protesting the use of the Native American imagery and slurs as racist, insulting, and dehumanizing for Native people.

Why now? Why this season? Bringing about this win was no small feat, and it certainly didn’t happen overnight, or even over last summer, said Michael Roberts, president and CEO of First Nations. “There were a lot of people involved, and a source of pride for us is that many of those Native leaders are colleagues, friends, and partners of First Nations and have been for decades.” Learn more about this true team effort of change.


Connecting Communities, Building Groundwork for Sovereignty

“We cannot claim sovereignty unless we feed ourselves.”

These true words by Duane “Chili” Yazzie, president of Shiprock Chapter on the Navajo Nation, ring true, and they were the driving belief behind a recent collaboration between farmers and local tribes – one that has built a framework for future food production and distribution throughout the Southwest. First Nations was honored to be part of the collaborative effort and to participate in one of the first deliveries. Read more!

Hunt On, Fish On, Gather On… View On!

Despite the event limitations brought on by COVID-19, hundreds of people throughout America have tuned in for Gather. There have been multiple viewings in connection with First Nations community partners, local partner events, and fundraisers. In addition, First Nations has distributed over 6,000 DVDs of the film to First Nations grantees. Learn more here.

Knowledge Makers, Knowledge Sharers: How the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows Are Advancing Native Communities

The Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows have been hard at work throughout 2020. While initial plans shifted in the face of COVID-19, still they moved forward with a series of virtual convenings and individual and group projects designed to advance knowledge in ways that enrich the culture, strength, and vitality of those around them. Here we highlight how the important work of the 10 inaugural Fellows is benefiting Native communities going forward. Learn more.